Extruding Machines

Extrusion is one of the most critical manufacturing processes in the plastics industry. Optima has been involved in several extruder control system retrofits including upgrades of PLCs and drives.

The diagram shows an overview of the functionality of an extrusion line. The speed references are generated digitally using setpoints from a SCADA system transmitted to the drives over DeviceNet.

Each part of the machine relevant to the control system has been given a location reference in the format “+1”.

The extruder follows a digital speed reference generated by a raise/lower ramp within a Parker drive controller.

In this upgrade project, a new operator panel was provided, complete with raise/lower push buttons, to set the required extruder speed. The existing screw speed meter was retained and was fitted into the new control panel.

The existing analogue tachogenerator was replaced with an encoder to provide more accurate speed control.

A 2 quadrant DC drive controller was used for this application. There was a facility, switch mounted in the Extruder control panel, to reverse the direction of the motor. This facility was provided by a field reversal contactor.

For another project, the new control system of the extruder consisted of a control panel containing the drive and an operator station with push buttons (Start, Stop, Raise, Lower, and E- Stop Reset). When the machine is started, the start button illuminates indicating that the machine is ready for operation. The Raise and Lower buttons are used to set the speed. When stopped with the Stop button, the machine ramps down to zero and stops. A digital display shows extruder speed set point. The system has an inch reverse facility.

The existing screw speed meter was retained and remained in the existing operator panel. In the past the machine used armature-voltage feedback control, but an encoder was installed for more accurate control. The existing mechanical pressure switch on the rear of the extruder was retained.


Would you like to know more about other control system projects we have completed on extruding machines? Please, leave us a short message here and we will send you additional information within 24 hours!

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Cloud-based data dashboards

If you want to see how your machine or process is operating day in day out from anywhere in the world, where do you start? With the increased risk of hacking of industrial devices becoming ever more prevalent Security Week – New Vulnerabilities Can Allow Hackers to Remotely Crash Siemens PLCs it’s not as simple as just hooking your PLC onto your local network.

An increasing number of companies are turning to remote cloud-based solutions for machine monitoring. Optima are pleased to offer the Cloud-based solution which keeps your automation hardware safely behind a secure firewall. Most of our clients prefer a SIM-card based system. The benefits of this system are that the equipment is always live whenever there is cellular reception available. Our range of antenna options mean that reception is possible even in the most remote locations.

The video below shows a basic demonstration dashboard. If you would like to know more then please get in touch – we like to talk!

This video gives a very brief demonstration on how our Remote Access and Cloud Logging System can help you keep track of how your machine is performing. See when the machine is started, stopped, realise production metric data straight to your mobile, desktop or tablet.

We have been trialling our remote machine data dashboards #iot #industry4. These allow real-time data to be visualised from any PLC anywhere in the world to a PC, tablet or mobile ‘phone anywhere in the world! The system can communicate over 4G, Wi-Fi, or a direct Ethernet connection. From Kazakhstan (yes, we do have two units out there!) to Kendal (we haven’t got one there yet…), we have you covered for a very low monthly cost.
Our remote reporting dashboards which can send #production #reports by #email will shortly be ready for release.

For more information, please contact info@optimacs.com

Mark Lane.

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